The reluctance of the government to place the annual and audit reports of the Tirumala Tirupati Devasthanams (TTD) in the Legislative Council has irked the members.
Telugu Desam member B. Venkateswarulu, who raised the issue in the House on Tuesday said, former Endowments Minister Gade Venkata Reddy had stated that the TTD like other institutions would present the audit report in the legislature. Yet it had not done so, he pointed out.
When several irregularities in the sale of tickets and ‘laddus’ were coming to light, presenting the report in the House would ensure transparency, he said. “What is the harm in laying the report in the House when the audit was done by the government official.” Endowments Minister C. Ramachandraiah, however, assured the members that there were effective internal controls to check discrepancies and absolute transparency in the functioning of the TTD though some lapses had taken place at times.
He explained that the present Endowments Act did not permit placing the audit report in the legislature as it was a religious institution and could not be categorised as a local authority under the Panchayat Raj Act. The Endowments Act has to be amended to facilitate presentation of audit report in the legislature. The government would take a decision after seeking the opinion of the Advocate-General, he added.